The Manitoba government is investing up to $5.5 million to support the Winnipeg Football Club's (WFC) bid to host the 2024 or 2025 Grey Cup Festival, Premier Heather Stefanson and Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Andrew Smith announced Tuesday evening at the club's annual legacy dinner.
"Our government is proud to support the efforts of the Winnipeg Football Club to bring the Canadian Football League's (CFL) premiere event back to our capital city, home of the league's loudest and most passionate fans," said Stefanson. "Winnipeg has earned a reputation as a very capable host of major sports and cultural events, including the successful staging of four prior Grey Cups, bolstered by impressive volunteer strength, and our province's renowned hospitality and community spirit."
"As the home of back-to-back CFL champs, Winnipeg is a natural to host the league's marquee event and the related festivities that energize the community during Grey Cup week, offering fun and excitement for fans of all ages," said Smith. "Thousands of visitors will contribute to the event's considerable economic impact for our province, as they see for themselves why we are called 'Friendly Manitoba' and why Winnipeg is such a great sports city."
The WFC is bidding on both the 2024 and 2025 Grey Cups to increase its chances of securing hosting rights for one of the events. The demonstrated support of the Manitoba government will help strengthen the club's effort to win a bid, the premier and minister noted.
Hosting the Grey Cup game and related festivities is estimated to result in a more than $90-million boost in economic activities, including $8.2 million in provincial tax revenues, the premier added.
Stefanson also announced the 2021 Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers investiture into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, a special award presented for outstanding achievement in the areas of leadership, service and community commitment. This team honour follows last year's investiture of the 2019 Winnipeg Blue Bombers in recognition of its championship season.